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Will a phone ever be anywhere as good as a DSLR?

@Archie in your list you missed out one short lived technology, the 8 track cartridge🙂
Back in the seventies(?) a sound engineer gave me a lift in his car which was equipped with 8 track cartridge player, graphic equalizer feeding a surround sound of speakers.
He loved David Bowie music and I admit it was such a great sound that I immediately went out and bought an 8 track cartridge player, which I still have today, along with about 100 cartridges plus I became a fan of listening to David Bowie music in a car.


Ah, the days before gold plated mains plugs were a requirement for “real hifi” I installed a load of 8 track players, in the days before cars came with radios installed.

That market report is full of BS, like high end cameras costing $300, and this gem: “More than 60% of the digital cameras are high-end digital cameras, which provide features such as +200x zoom capabilities”. 200x zoom?

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

the audience can statistically-significantly tell the difference between 16 bit 44kHz data stream and something better

Bit depth is mostly about dynamic range once you hit a certain point. Each bit gives you 6dB more dynamic range (so an 8 bit stream has 48dB dynamic range, but a 16 bit stream will give you 96dB). You can improve dynamic range still further without increasing bit depth by oversampling.

Andreas IOM

96db dynamic range is comparable to having a 400W power amp driving a speaker and to hear 1LSB you would need to put your ear inside the speaker

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

96db dynamic range is comparable to having a 400W power amp driving a speaker and to hear 1LSB you would need to put your ear inside the speaker

Nicely put :)

Peter wrote:

That market report is full of BS

I wondered that. This one is perhaps more telling: sales of DSLRs imploded

I have a Nikon with telelens with me when I am flying around, but most of the time I do take pictures with my iPhone 13 Pro which does support Apple ProRAW mode and which can be configured as default mode in the settings menu except for the Portrait Mode that produces the bokeh effect. You could probably take technically perfect shots but boring or have your phone always more or less – at hand – and grab the moment(s).

EDLE, Netherlands

Good roundup I thought of where these cameras have arrived nowadays

Lifting a person out of a photo to paste elsewhere I did not know about but is so cool! Works with objects too such as planes 😎

Last Edited by Archie at 14 Feb 12:02

More “computational photography”

Good stabilisation is a good thing to have. Gimbal stabilised cameras like the DJI Osmo Pocket still rule the roost but “convergence” is a great thing.

10x optical zoom is also great. It makes it harder and harder to justify a pocket camera. I still use my Canon G7X quite a lot, and it probably beats any phone for dynamic range, and (I process everything in Lightroom) I find the dynamic range the biggest tweaking issue. The Pentax K1 remains in a different league…

If I was buying a new phone I would get the Samsung, but probably would not get a 10x optical zoom on the version I would be willing to buy. The really good cameras come only on the biggest phones.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The best camera is the one you have on you at the time.

I’m an ex professional snapper, grew up on film, lived in the darkroom, now have every toy possibly to play with (Canon R5,45Mp, stabilization, Full frame, superfast lenses), but still take a large proportion of my shots on my iphone, asI have it with me.

95% of taking a ‘good’ shot is down to the photographer, not the camera, a good camera helps, but I can still sell an image taken on a iphone just as well as my R5 with a 200f1.8, its down to the subject, not the camera.

The vast majority of phone cameras are simply marketing blurb, and the vast majority of users just want to hold and press the button. No considering to framing, backgrounds, eyeline etc etc. They just want it to work for their next instagram sensation.


Elstree, United Kingdom

I agree; some phone cameras are amazing. Not so much for resolution but for optical zoom. Unfortunately the phone makers still put the good cameras in their huuuge phones. I have a Samsung S10E and don’t want to carry anything bigger There is some S22 variant which is similar size but the camera is barely better.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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